McIlroy Feud 'Got Blown Out Of Proportion' - Patrick Reed

Patrick Reed insists his Dubai battle with Rory McIlroy was respectful and more cross-code meetings can calm LIV tensions

Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Patrick Reed says that having more battles between LIV and PGA Tour golfers in events, such as the one he had with Rory McIlroy in Dubai, will help tensions to calm down between the two sets of players.

A judge put a hold on the DP World Tour being able to ban LIV Golf stars from playing in their events, enabling Reed and his fellow LIV players such as Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood to go toe-to-toe with McIlroy in Dubai.

Tensions then got turned up a notch when McIlroy blanked Reed on the driving range and the American tossed a branded LIV Golf tee at the Northern Irishman before the event had even started.

The two then fought it out on the course, with McIlroy winning the title by a shot courtesy of a final hole birdie, preventing what would have been one of the most tense playoffs we’ve ever seen.

Although Reed is one of the more combative players in the world, he insists that it was a good natured rivalry with McIlroy in Dubai and feels that the more the two sets of players face each other the more it will dilute the tension and calm the whole situation down.

“I think you're going start seeing over (the next) year, hopefully, everything's able to kind of calm down and allow that to happen more often,” Reed told Golf Digest.

“Not just on the European Tour but who knows, maybe later on you have more of these battles more frequently.”

Reed and McIlroy have had plenty of battles over the years, most notably their epic 2016 Ryder Cup singles match at Hazeltine and their final round pairing at the 2018 Masters where Reed won his one Major title.

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“It was great battling with Rory,” Reed said. “The thing about Dubai is it got blown out of proportion, as if it was something horrible between two players, when him and I were staying at the same hotel and both times we saw each other (we said) ‘Hi, how you doing?’ It was normal.

“Was there probably some gamesmanship? And probably some stuff going on because of a bunch of other stuff?

“I've always had full respect for Rory. I've always loved the battles I've had against him. I've just watched the (2016) Ryder Cup highlights - they are insane.

“Same thing at Augusta (for Reed’s 2018 Masters win) when I was playing with him on the Sunday - there's nothing better you want as a player trying to win your first Major than it being against Rory McIlroy. He was also going for his career grand slam.”

With LIV Golf players allowed to take part in all four Majors this year, we’ll have at least those four chances to see both sets of players battling it out in the same event – and if a judge sides with Greg Norman’s outfit then we’ll see it more on the DP World Tour too.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.